NY Times: Democrats Want To Lower Health Care Costs, They Just Have No Idea How To Do It

This is a case of a different headline on the front page of the NY Times yesterday than in the single page, and it brings up an interesting point

They did call it the Affordable Care Act, did they not? Whenever a Democrat, including then President Obama and the Democrat media, discussed it they referred to it as the Affordable Care Act. How many times did Obama yammer about it reducing costs and saving us $2,500 a year on premiums?

Medicare for All Is Divisive (in the Democratic Party)

No issue animated the Democrats’ 2018 congressional campaigns like health care and the promises to expand access to insurance and to lower costs. But as House Democrats sit down to draft their vision of governance in the coming weeks, lawmakers find themselves badly divided on the issue that delivered their majority.

Centrists from swing districts, with the tacit support of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, favor incremental moves to shore up the Affordable Care Act and to lower the out-of-pocket costs of prescription drugs and medical care. They are pushing a variety of measures, such as shutting down cheap, short-term insurance plans that do not cover pre-existing medical conditions and allowing people to buy into Medicare at age 50 or 55.

But they are butting up against an aggressive and expanding group of more than 100 outspoken Democrats — as well as at least four of the party’s presidential candidates — who want to do just that, upend the whole system with a single government insurance plan for all Americans — the old concept of single payer, now called Medicare for all.

“I reject the idea that single payer is impossible,” said Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York.

This will cause a pretty big fight over the next few weeks and even years as they debate this in the Dem controlled House, as well as between those running for the Democrat presidential nomination.

The idea of Medicare for all is immensely contentious. It would greatly expand the federal role in health care. Critics say it would require a big increase in federal spending, and proponents have not said how they would pay for it. Some versions of Medicare for all could wipe out much of the health insurance industry and replace employer-sponsored health plans that now cover more than 155 million Americans. Supporters say the proposal would guarantee universal coverage and put health care on a budget, reducing what consumers and employers spend. But insurance companies, along with many hospitals and doctors, are waging a vigorous campaign against it, believing that it would reduce the payments they receive for providing care.

Ms. Pelosi cannot afford to put moderate freshmen in Trump-friendly districts on the spot by putting Medicare for all up to a vote.

“Most people receive health care from their employer,” said Representative Scott Peters, Democrat of California and a vice chairman for the New Democrat Coalition, a centrist group. “They do not want to replace it with an untested government system.”

If a single payer type system cannot work in tiny Vermont, with a population of 626 thousand, how would it work for well over 300 million Americans? Let’s not forget that studies showed that the cost for “Medicare for all” for the state of California would be at least twice the overall state budget. If Democrats want to yammer about this, and there will be lots of committee hearings, they will need to explain just how they plan on paying for it, as well as how it would actually work, as in, how much rationing will there be, how medical care providers will be reimbursed, who will run medical facilities, who will own them, and how much our taxes will go up to pay for this.

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6 Responses to “NY Times: Democrats Want To Lower Health Care Costs, They Just Have No Idea How To Do It”

  1. Kye says:

    But, but, but conflating “healthcare for all” with “health insurance for all” is like, the second most important thing in the next twelve years. How we like, pay for it is not like, the question. PEOPLE WILL DIE!

  2. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    Yet, every advanced nation on Earth has found a way to reduce the cost of healthcare AND serve all their citizens.

    Using OECD data, in 2016, the median cost for the 25 most advanced nations was $4708 per capita.* The US spent $9892 per capita. Ergo, these other nations spent 48% as much as the US.

    https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=SHA

    Using WHO data, in 2015, the median cost for the 25 most advanced nations was $4600 and the US was $9536.** Also, 48%.

    http://apps.who.int/nha/database/Select/Indicators/en

    So, nations such as Australia, Belgium, Czech Rep, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, O’ Canada!, Portugal, Qatar, Rep of Korea, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago etc etc etc find a way to deliver health care to their citizens for much less than the US. Why wouldn’t US citizens want to pay less for healthcare?

    The working classes are giving away close to $1 trillion a YEAR.

    Here’s a modest proposal: Why not have the US HHS contract with France to run our healthcare system? They have the top rated healthcare system of all the nations and spend on 47% per person compared to the US! They could cut 1/3 of expenditures saving Americans an average of $3000 per person per year! We’d pay less in taxes, less to insurers, less to hospitals, less to drug companies… and we’d solve our long term debt problem!

    You’re welcome. Now write your Congressperson and get them moving.

    *PPP international U.S. dollars (not inflation-adjusted)
    **PPP international U.S. dollars (inflation-adjusted to 2011 dollars)

    • formwiz says:

      You get what you pay for. Most of those countries make you wait years for surgery, offer you a Kevorkian if they think you’re not worth the expense.

      And even the oil sheiks come here because the care is better. Quality is better than quantity.

      You want to reduce health costs? Get government out of medicine. Paperwork eats up a lot of that money

    • Yes, and those places can see 50% of their earnings go to government. Further, they are all a hell of a lot less populace than America. If, again, Vermont cannot find a way to make it work without taking 50% of people’s paychecks, nor can even California, how do you think this would work for the U.S.?

      I’m good with states attempting to do this, if their citizens want. That’s our federalist system. But, not for the whole U.S., especially as the Constitution does not give the federal government the power to do this.

  3. Jl says:

    And many of those countries no doubt have higher taxes then we do, so you pay up front or you pay later.

  4. Professor Hale says:

    Lowering health care costs is trivially easy. Just deliver less health care services. As long as the really important people have full access to the best of everything, the system is perfect. For examples: See the Soviet Union, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, China, North Korea.

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